Actually, this rule is not just for Christmas - but it most recently came up during some post-holiday shopping, so I thought I would give our biggest gifting season the credit. The rule is not actually for children - it's a rule for adults. And it's aimed at gift-givers and post-holiday impulse-shoppers alike. The rule is:
If it's more breakable than children, there is not a place for it in my house.
Not that I try to break my children - but they are, in fact, quite sturdy. As most moms out there have learned, it's not the actual child breaking that you worry about, it is what the child CAN break (which is most everything). Yes, this comes from the mouth (keyboard...) of a mom who is eternally baby-proofed. A mom who doesn't have a mantle upon which to perch the delicate, decorative set-abouts that most adults who have a home use to decorate (besides, my kids have already conquered the 3rd dimension). A mom who has no place in her home that the children are not allowed (that's how it was when I was growing up, so that's how it is in my home). "Where," you ask, "do you hide all of the Christmas gifts?" I'd answer that for you, but then my kids would figure out that I picked the least-interesting place in the house, and then it would suddenly become the most interesting, so I'm not telling you. And it worked beautifully this year, so I'm not sharing the secret. Not today, not next week, but maybe in 18 years... or whenever they figure it out.... In the meantime, I'll be teaching my kids the meaning of gentle, breakable, delicate, and PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!!